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NSW Department of Education and Communities

Curriculum support for NSW Public Schools

Teaching trigonometry

Trigonometry (MS5.1.2, MS5.2.3) is often introduced early in Stage 5 with most textbooks traditionally starting with naming sides of right-angled triangles. These activities offer a different approach, aligning well with the significance dimension of the NSW Quality Teaching model. Students need to see and understand why their learning of trigonometry matters.

Pdf icon  Building bridges lesson (pdf - 142 KB)
This activity sets the scene for teaching trigonometry by encouraging students to discover the importance of using triangles in real-life constructions through working co-operatively, developing their spatial skills and modelling a situation using concrete materials.

Pdf icon  Building bridges task (pdf - 70 KB)
The Building bridges task workcard from the Building bridges lesson for distribution to student groups.

PowerPoint icon  Building bridges (ppt - 1.12 MB)
A PowerPoint slide show of bridges to support the Building bridges lesson.

Pdf icon  What is the problem? (pdf - 27 KB)
This activity assesses a starting point for learning trigonometry. It encourages divergent thinking and attempts to address the reasons why trigonometry was developed. Students contribute their own solutions to problems before the introduction of scale drawings or trigonometric ratios.

Pdf icon  What is the problem task (pdf - 65 KB)
The task workcard from the What is the problem? activity for distribution to student groups.

Pdf icon  Same shape triangles lesson (pdf - 45 KB)
In this activity students use practical measurement skills and ratio calculations to find a pattern linking the ratio of sides of a triangle with the angles. This lesson is designed to develop the concepts of sine, cosine and tangent ratios of angles.

Material to support same shape triangles lesson includes:

   Pdf icon     Triangle sheet A (pdf - 50 KB)

   Pdf icon     Triangle sheet B (pdf - 52 KB)

   Pdf icon     Triangle sheet C (pdf - 51 KB)

   Pdf icon     Triangle sheet C and G  (pdf - 56 KB)

   Pdf icon     Triangle sheet D (pdf - 52 KB)

   Pdf icon     Triangle sheet E (pdf - 52 KB)

   Pdf icon     Triangle sheet F (pdf - 52 KB)

   Pdf icon     Triangle sheet G (pdf - 51 KB)

   Pdf icon     Calculating ratios for similar triangles worksheet (pdf - 94 KB)

   Pdf icon     Class graph template (pdf - 13 KB) 






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